Diwali and Halloween = Diwalloween and this transfer = assistant to mission president.

What's up everyone?  Happy Deepawali (or Diwali for short).  I think I mentioned something about Diwali in my last week's email, but I don't quite recall.  For those of you who may not know, Diwali is the Hindu festival of lights.  They seriously go all out here haha, it's awesome.  It's kind of a combination of Christmas and New Year because there are lights of all colors everywhere and everyone gives gifts to each other and there are a TON of fireworks.  When I say a ton, I mean, we were on lockdown yesterday from 6PM through the rest of the night because it was that crazy haha.  We woke up this morning and there were still some fireworks going off.  Crazy.  I am very sorry to inform everyone that I was unable to take pictures of all the fun festivities that went on because my camera is having trouble focusing/taking pictures in general.  I'll work on getting that fixed this week if I can haha.  Diwali really is a rad festival.

Speaking of holidays, happy Halloween!  Nothing too spooky going on over here in Bangalore.  I did, however, get transferred to the Whitefield ward this week--so I'm still in Bangalore, I'm just on the east side now.  It's funny: I started in west Bangalore, then was transferred to central Bangalore, now I'm in east Bangalore.  Call me a trail blazer. (;  Anyway, I'm STOKED to be serving in this ward!  Our building is right next to the mission office and it's considerably bigger and more noticeable than other Church buildings in India so, naturally, people get curious.  So on Sundays, people literally walk into sacrament meeting and ask us to teach them the gospel after church.  Hahaha it's awesome.  My new companion is Elder Poleboina from Hyderabad.  He is an awesome, charitable guy, a hard worker, and a great teacher.  All around a great missionary, I'm excited to serve with him.  The work here is awesome and I'm excited to help keep it moving.

One thought I had this week was pertinent to Diwali.  Culturally speaking, Diwali is the one day a year that light overcomes darkness.  When I learned that, I thought, "No way, only one day a year?" How blessed are we to know that when we have faith in Christ, we can overcome darkness through His marvelous light every day of our lives.  Christ truly is the light of the world and what an immense blessing it is for me to help these amazing people come to know that for themselves.

Happy Halloween and Happy Diwali (depending on what culture you identify with) and have a great week!

Keep the faith.
Elder Tuscano


can't judge a book by it's cover and happy diwali (festival of lights)!

 a family friend of the Blanchards shared this with us.
he was at church in Bangalore and heard Jonathan give a talk
 Jacob's Automobiles!
An area called New Baiyapanahalli, we found a cute new family to teach there this past week

Happy Diwali week, everyone!  I hope your lives are as bright as India is right now with all of these lights (Diwali is the festival of lights).

This week was pretty solid, again, quite productive for Elder Shrestha and I.  Not many outstanding highlights, per se, however, we found a couple new investigators and we both gave talks in sacrament meeting yesterday haha.  Elder Shrestha spoke about the Plan of Salvation and I spoke on the Doctrine of Christ.

One cool experience we had this week was learning the valuable lesson of not judging a book by its cover.  Earlier this week, we were walking around a bit of a rundown, not-very-well-kept area, searching for people who speak English that we might teach.  As we were searching, we came across a really old automobile shop called "Jacob's Automobiles."  It seemed pretty rundown and as though maybe the shop had been abandoned.  But in a small shack near the entry gate, I saw an older, hefty, dark man, with a pretty awesome but scraggly beard.  The first thought that came into my mind was, "No way this guy speaks English," and as we were about to turn around, I felt prompted to go ask him if he was Jacob of Jacob's Automobiles.  So I did, he responded yes, and we proceeded to talk for the next hour or so about his life and accomplishments, his interests and desires (both fulfilled and yet to be), and it turns out he is one of THE coolest people I've met.  He speaks seven or so languages (including some of the best English I've heard spoken in India) and it seems he was a former engineer in the auto industry, he's worked for some of the biggest companies in the world.  He is a Christian from birth, which is not common here, and he's also and avid soccer fan.  We haven't taught Jacob yet, but we sure hope to.  Moral of the story is: don't judge a book by its cover!  I wish I'd taken a picture with him, but I do have a picture of his shop that I'll send.  I'll also send a couple pictures of the areas in which we frequently work.

Transfer calls are tonight, I really hope to stay here in Indiranagar but I'll go wherever the Lord needs me!  Hope everyone has a good week and happy Diwali!

Keep the faith,

Elder Tuscano


Jono teaching piano(?), and Happy Vijaya Dasham!

Happy Vijaya Dashami, everyone!  Or Happy Dasara.  Depending on what religion you are and what language you speak.  Either way, happy Hindu holidays!  Elder Shrestha and I had a pretty solid week because everyone had a week of holidays.  Or at least the students did, haha.  Dasara is a pretty cool festival, I don't really know what it's all about, but I do know that Bangalore was covered in bright colors and rad designs, I'll send some pictures!

One cool experience from this week: so Elder Shrestha and I have been trying to meet with this one investigator, Prathap (age 17), since we arrived, so for nearly three months now.  Previously, he'd schedule an appointment with us whenever we would call--but unfortunately he'd cancel on us at the last minute. However, this past Thursday morning, we called him in hopes to meet with him later that day.  He told us "Yeah sure, I'm actually going to the church later to practice piano."  I was surprised, I had no idea he was learning how to play the piano!  I told him that was awesome and, if he was interested, I'd love to teach him how to play some hymns.  HE WAS STOKED!  He was like "YEAH!  That would be awesome, elder!  I'll meet you at the church at 2."  So we met with him and it went really well--AND we were able to share a message with him afterward.  We concurred to make this a regular thing: piano practice coupled with a spiritual thought.  It's been awesome, we met with him again on Saturday and we're planning to meet him again tomorrow!  Right now we're learning "Nearer My God to Thee," hymn no. 100.  We're praying that it continues to go well!

Hope everyone has a solid week!  Share your talents and the gospel: both are gifts from God!

Keep the faith.
Elder Tuscano

pic 1 - rad, colorful, bright, intricate design displayed on the floor inside of the metro station!
pic 2 - a SUPER cool mural that was being painted on a previously blank and boring canvas that was the outer walls of the Mahatma Gandhi Road metro station


exchange and conference!

 Bangalore sunset view from the apartment balcony
 2.5 Indians

Greetings from the Garden City, y'all!  It's funny: a little over a year ago, I was in Garden City, Idaho.  Now I'm in the "Garden City" of Bengaluru.  Haha I thought that was funny.

This week was solid.  I had the wonderful opportunity of going on exchange with an elder in our zone.  When he came to our area, his spirits were pretty low, but by time he left he was soaring.  He is an awesome elder, I learned a lot from him.  I will send a picture!

Conference was seriously awesome the time around.  I feel like conference keeps getting better, more and more relevant to me especially.  Perhaps that's because, through the Atonement of Christ, I'm beginning to develop "eyes to see" and "ears to hear."  Speaking of the Atonement, I feel that was a central theme this conference.  There were a few overarching themes this conference, I will name but three I noticed: 
  • Suffering is inevitable in mortality, however, we can turn suffering into joy through faith in Jesus Christ.
  •  God's love is always there for us, however, He will not save us in our sins.
  • As members of Christ's church, we have no excuses, no loopholes no right to rationalize: we are so greatly blessed with an abundance of knowledge, revelation, and beautiful promises from the Lord.
There were a few speakers this conference where I could not take notes quickly enough.  Some of those speakers include: Elder Christofferson, Elder Bassett, President Nelson, President Robbins, Sister Reeves, Bishop Davies, Elder Renlund, the list goes on.  It's very difficult for me to pick a favorite, but I believe my favorite address was from Elder J. Devin Cornish of the Seventy!  He said that there's no such thing as being "good enough," and that we should stop comparing ourselves to others!  What God thinks of us should occupy our attention not what others think of us.  He said that if we repent sincerely, we'll always be forgiven--even if we may struggle with a particular sin over and over again.  He said that we cannot be saved without trying and that's the balance between grace and works--but must sincerely try!

What a great conference, I hope everyone enjoyed it as much as I did!  Have a good week, everyone, keep the faith!

Elder Tuscano

P.S.  It seems I will send the pictures in the near future, this computer at this random net cafe doesn't have available USB ports...sorry.


Sweet is the Work (and sweet is zone volleyball in southern India)!

 Bangalore Zone volleyball crew, it was seriously a blast 
 Elder Jensen, myself, "President" Gnanamani, and Elder Shrestha.  We call our good friend Gnanamani (pronounced Yanamani) "President" because he always is dressed like a mission president.  Gnanamani is a returning member, he is awesome.
Elder Thompson and I.  He goes home at the end of this transfer, he's become a good friend of mine.

Hello hello everybody, how goes it?

This week wasn't terribly exciting for us, but it was still a good one.  We traveled all over Bangalore this week, that's for sure haha. 

Mission Leadership Council was this week and it was awesome.  The theme was, "Sweet is the Work," and there were a good many experiences shared that were as inspiring as they were uplifting.  Truly, the work is sweet and I can't explain how blessed I feel to be a part of it.  Thank you all for all your prayers, support, and love, I wish you all could see the miracles they work out here in India.  

Unfortunately, our mission is short one elder: after a lot of thought and prayer, Elder Jensen returned home yesterday.  These past few months have been a challenge for him and I admire him for having stayed out this long.  I have learned a lot from Elder Jensen and hope to see him back out here at some point.  Please keep him in your prayers.

In other news, we played volleyball as a zone this morning for our zone activity, it was seriously so much fun.  Imagine this: two American elders, one Canadian elder, one Nepali elder, one elder from Delhi, and eight elders from various parts of southern India (Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu) getting together to play volleyball.  It was as diverse as it was fun, I will send some photos!  President Mortensen joined us as well, he is a boss and certainly added to the great time we had.

Hope everyone has a good week, stay safe and keep the faith!

Elder Tuscano